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KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE — Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush shaved his head this week to show solidarity for a Secret Service agent's sick child who is suffering from cancer, joining other members of his security detail, a spokesman said on late Wednesday.
Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the 89-year-old former president, said Bush took the unusual decision earlier this week after learning, and seeing, that many members of his security detail had already shaved their heads to show support for 2-year-old cancer patient Patrick, whose father Jon is a member of the Bush Protective Division (BPD).
The Secret Service agents have also launched a website — www.patrickspals.org — to assist with Patrick's medical bills and have organized the Inaugural Patrick's Pals Motorcycle Benefit Run on August 10 in the town of Kennebunkport in Maine. The benefit run will be a 50-mile (80-kilometer) motorcycle ride through the Maine countryside, followed by a lunch and silent auction to raise funds.
"Once President and Mrs. Bush learned of this 'Patrick's Pals' effort, they made a donation and President Bush volunteered to shave his head as well," McGrath said in an e-mail. George and Barbara Bush lost their second child, 4-year-old Robin, to leukemia nearly 60 years ago.
Bush, the 41st President of the United States, was in office from January 1989 until January 1993. He also served two terms as President Ronald Reagan's vice president from 1981 until 1989, and he is further the father of former President George W. Bush, who was in office from 2001 until 2009.